by Susan Hanna

This delicious recipe from NYT Cooking is a popular Senegalese dish of chicken, onions and peppers. Marinate the chicken in a mixture of scallions, thyme, vinegar, lime juice and oil. Brown the chicken and set aside. Then cook the onions, adding peppers, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and mustard once the onions have started to brown. Return the chicken to the pan, add some water and simmer until it is cooked through and tender. Cook’s note: I served this with asparagus instead of rice.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lime juice; concentrates contain sodium benzoate. I use President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon mustard. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken legs (2 ½ to 3 pounds/1.13 to 1.36 kg)
  • 4 scallions, trimmed, whites and greens finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh thyme, finely chopped (or 2 teaspoons/10 ml dried)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup (125 ml) lime juice (from 3 or 4 limes), plus more as needed
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) peanut, vegetable or canola oil, plus more as needed
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 pounds (900 g) yellow onions, halved and sliced ½-inch (1.27-cm) thick
  • 1 green bell pepper, halved, seeded and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1 whole Scotch bonnet chile, poked with a fork (or 1 whole habanero chile, 1 to 2 minced jalapeños, or ½ to 1 teaspoon/2.5 to 5 ml red-pepper flakes)
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 teaspoons (20 ml) finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) Dijon mustard (optional)
  • Cooked rice, for serving

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken legs with the scallions, thyme, vinegar, ¼ cup (60 ml) lime juice and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  2. If using a grill or grill pan, heat it over high; if using a cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil over medium-high. (If cooking indoors, pat the chicken dry, discarding marinade, then brush the chicken lightly with oil.) Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper.
  3. Working in batches if necessary, grill or sear the chicken until browned on both sides, 6 or 7 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil over medium-high. When the oil is hot, add the onions in an even layer, season with salt and pepper, and let sear without stirring for 3 to 4 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir occasionally to prevent onions from burning at the bottom of the pot, and allow onions to cook until they start to caramelize and take on some colour, 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Add the bell pepper, chile, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and the mustard (if using), and continue stirring, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) of water as needed to avoid scorching at the bottom of the pot, another 5 minutes. Stir in another ¼ cup (60 ml) lime juice, and season with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) salt and 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pepper.
  6. Add the grilled chicken into the pot, tucking it under the onions, then top with 1 cup (250 ml) water. Stir well, smooth mixture gently into an even layer, cover and simmer over medium until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 30 minutes.
  7. Season to taste and add more lime juice to taste, if desired. Serve chicken over rice, with onion mixture and sauce drizzled generously on top. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking